Yes, you read that headline correct. Not only was George Clooney arrested after storming the Sudanese embassy in Washington, D.C. but so were various Democratic congressmen. The man Clooney was protesting was none other than Omar al-Bashir, Northern Sudan’s leader. Bashir is also responsible for funding Joseph Kony, the subject of the viral Kony 2012 video. What makes Clooney’s arrest so interesting is that Bashir is practically a card-carrying member of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is drastically out of character for the left in the West to target Muslim Brotherhood groups or individuals for ridicule but it happened today.
Via ABC News:
Movie star George Clooney was led away in handcuffs after storming the Sudanese Embassy protesting the actions of the country’s president Omar Al-Bashir, an alleged war criminal.
Clooney made the rounds in Washington this week, hoping his superstar wattage will help shine a light on the situation in Sudan. The actor testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and held private meetings with the Secretary of State and President Obama about the African nation’s dire humanitarian situation and the Obama administration’s policy. He led a protest today outside of Sudan’s embassy calling on Omar Al-Bashir, an alleged war-criminal, to stop the violence and allow humanitarian aid into the country.
Also among those arrested as a mob of reporters and cameramen looked on were Clooney’s Father Nick Clooney; President of United to End Genocide and former Congressman Tom Andrews; Congressmen Jim McGovern, D-MA, Al Green, D-TX, Jim Moran, D-VA., and John Olver D-MA; Martin Luther King III, NAACP President Ben Jealous; and Enough Project Co-Founder John Prendergast, according to a police statement.
Each one of these individuals should be commended for calling attention to Omar al-Bashir but it’s quite unusual. It almost makes one wonder if they don’t truly understand the Brotherhood or its level of involvement. A protest of the Brotherhood is like protesting against CAIR, ISNA, MSA, or countless other groups that have set down roots in the United States.
In fact, in 2007, Clooney was quoted as saying that the situation in the Sudan is “not political” in an article by James Bowman, who continued:
He (Clooney) seems to have confined his actions on behalf of the sufferers of Darfur to public pronouncements about the wickedness of their oppressors and the oil companies who do business with them and to diplomatic missions to China and Egypt in so-far unsuccessful attempts to deny them the aid of their chief international protectors and business-partners.
That leads us back to today’s ABC article, which made reference to Clooney’s recent meeting with President Obama…
The actor said he asked Obama to involve China more in pushing for a solution in Sudan. He said international leaders need to “follow the money” flowing to Sudan’s leaders to expose corruption.
“This is a moment where we have a chance to do something because if we don’t, in the next three to four months, there’s going to be a real humanitarian disaster,” Clooney said before his arrest.
Clooney is actually more than just a little bit right about that last part but what we don’t hear coming from him is the fact that the “humanitarian disaster” of which he speaks would be the result of the Muslim Brotherhood that is on the ascendency all across the Middle East. The Sudan Tribune reported last month that the Brotherhood is leaning hard on Bashir to more strictly impose Sharia law in the region:
On Tuesday, the ICF held its foundation conference in the capital Khartoum, and the coalition members who include the Salafi Ansar Al-Suna, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Just Peace Forum (JPF), signed its founding statement which called for the application of Shariah laws.
The conference, which was attended by a host of political parties, saw some ICF representatives boldly warning the government and President Bashir of an uprising by Islamists if their proposed constitution is not adopted.
Last week, much was made about the Kony 2012 video drawing attention to a very evil man in Joseph Kony. Yes, it was good to do so but if one traces the origins of the money and weapons that lead to Kony, those origins involve Bashir. However, as the Sudan Tribune article points out, the Muslim Brotherhood is in control of Bashir so if the money at Bashir’s disposal is examined, it will almost certainly lead directly to the Muslim Brotherhood.
In fact, in 2008, when the International Criminal Court – an entity Clooney is citing as the authority that identified Bashir as a war criminal – levied the charges against the Sudan leader, the Muslim Brotherhood vehemently objected in a statement:
Muslim Brotherhood denounced the genocide charges filed by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court against Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir on Monday. In the statement signed by MB Chairman Mahdi Akef, he emphasized MB”s condemnation of the decision, considering it “interference in Sudan”s internal affairs and violation of its sovereignty.”
Again, it’s excellent to see unlikely characters protest someone as evil as Bashir. Our hats are off to anyone who does. The question is if these high-profile protesters really know what they’re getting themselves into. Unless the Clooney in Bowman’s 2007 article has become much more educated on the geopolitics of the region, that answer is likely no.
**UPDATE to the above post** Another interesting dynamic to consider involves the relationship between Bashir and Hasan al-Turabi, who is actually considered to be more radical than Bashir. Turabi is also one of Sudan’s Muslim Brotherhood founders. According to an article by Georgetown University professor Andrew Natsios that appeared on NPR’s website, Turabi likely benefited with the fall of Mubarak.
In 1995, an offshoot of the Muslim Brothers, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, attempted to assassinate Egyptian President Mubarak at an Organization for African Unity conference in Addis Ababa. Egyptian intelligence believed the plot was orchestrated by Turabi. Sudan and Egypt nearly went to war over the incident, but ultimately Bashir decided to de-escalate tensions with Mubarak and distance himself from Turabi. A year later, bin Laden was expelled from Sudan because of pressure from the United States and Saudi Arabia, and Turabi was forced to find a home for his friend in Afghanistan. By 1999, Sudan’s two major political figures were locked in a raw power struggle: Turabi, as speaker of the National Assembly, attempted to reduce Bashir’s constitutional powers and increase his own, causing a bitter rift between the two men, which led to Turabi’s ouster. Since 2000, Turabi has been repeatedly imprisoned whenever he threatened or attacked the Bashir government. Turabi’s purge healed the breach between Sudan and Egypt, and Mubarak’s government vowed that it would never allow Turabi to rule Sudan again.
It’s really hard to tell where this is all headed but now that the Brotherhood is on the rise in the Middle East and Mubarak is gone, could it be that the group finds Turabi more desirable?
As wicked as it may seem, if the same forces behind Kony 2012 also desire the ouster of Bashir, could the result be someone worse than both of them?